Voyage to Aotearoa

Ben Finney

in Voyage of Rediscovery

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 1994 | ISBN: 9780520080027
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520913059 | DOI:
Voyage to Aotearoa

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This chapter is a sailing chronicle designed to illuminate the main problem that canoe voyagers leaving any of the islands of central East Polynesia would have faced in voyaging to Aotearoa: that of sailing a canoe southwest out of the easterly trade wind zone and into a region where strong westerlies often blow. The chapter therefore concentrates on the most difficult portion of the route, that from Rarotonga to Aotearoa, along which a canoe must forsake the warm seas and favorable trade winds of the tropics for the increasingly chill waters and problematic winds of the higher latitudes. In preparing for the voyage, Nainoa Thompson consulted accounts of how voyagers had supposedly navigated to Aotearoa following directions brought back to the traditional homeland of Hawaiki by Kupe, the legendary discoverer of Aotearoa.

Keywords: canoe; East Polynesia; Aotearoa; trade wind; Rarotonga; voyage; Nainoa Thompson; Hawaiki; Kupe

Chapter.  12090 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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